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The AIA Ohio Design Awards Program promotes those projects that have distinguished themselves, through attention to high quality design, performance, and commitment to AIA's 10 principles of livable communities.  These awards recognize some of the best of Ohio Architecture.


Submission Requirements

General Submission Requirements

i.   Firm.  The submitting firm must be the Design Firm.

ii.  Location. The design Firm must have an operating office in the state of Ohio; and the project must have been produced in an Ohio office. (project/job offices are not eligible)

iii.  Submissions. The submitting designer, or at least one principal from their firm must, be a member of AIA Ohio.

iv.  Entries may be in one of 4 categories.  
Category 1: Newly completed buildings, additions, remodelings, renovations, restorations; Category 2: Interior projects; Category 3: Urban design or planning projects/studies; or Category 4: Unbuilt projects.

  • Entries must be completed since January 1, 2011,(dates will change annually), regardless of project size, geographical location, budget, style or building type.
  • Unbuilt projects include a design that will never be executed (i.e. a contest entry that was not chosen).

v.   The design awards program will promote and focus attention on quality design, sustainability, and AIA’s 10 principles of livable communities.  The jury will evaluate all projects based on the aesthetic, functional, contextual and social characteristics of the design.  The jury will also evaluate submissions in categories 1-4 based on their successful response to one or more of AIA’s 10 principles of livable communities.  

Those ten principles are:

  1. Design on a human scale                      6.  Build vibrant public spaces
  2. Provide choices                                   7.  Create a neighborhood identity
  3. Encourage mixed-use development        8.  Protect environmental resources
  4. Preserve urban centers                         9.  Conserve landscapes
  5. Vary transportation options                  10.  Design matters

The principles will be broadly interpreted to apply to all four categories of projects. Projects will be evaluated based on the information contained in the submissions. The jury will not visit projects.

vi.  Sufficient drawings including a site plan, floor plan(s), section(s), etc. to explain the solution are required.

  • Exterior images of the project sufficient to completely describe the work accomplished are required, except for Interior Submissions.  
  • For current projects, a minimum of two required images shall depict the major exposed sides of the building along with the immediate environs.
  • For projects involving exterior alterations to an existing building, similar "before" and "after" images are strongly suggested. 

Specific Submission Requirements

  • Category 1: Newly completed buildings, additions, remodelings, renovations, restorations will require 15 images, including drawings of a site plan, floor plan(s), section(s), and a minimum of 2 exterior and 2 interior images.
  • Category 2: Interior submissions will require 15 images, including drawings of floor plan(s), section(s), and a minimum of 4 interior images.
  • Category 3: Urban design or planning projects/studies will require 15 images adequately representing the project.
  • Category 4: Unbuilt projects will require 15 images adequately representing the project.
  • Highlight Image in addition to the 15 images, all submitting projects are required to include 1 image that will be used on the AIA Ohio website if the submission is given an award. If possible, please provide a 300dpi image that is 7"x10".

Submission Format

All entries shall be submitted electronically via the AIA Ohio online OpenWater Awards Program.  Project images shall be submitted in a .jpeg, .png, or .PDF format.  

Project authorship will remain concealed throughout the jury process.
If authorship is revealed on any photos, plans or narrative, the entry will be disqualified.


$200 per design award submission

Winning Submissions

Winning entries will be presented at the AIA Ohio Valley Region Convention. Winners will be notified in August, following the judging.


2017 Program dates: March 31 - July 7 5:00 pm

2017 Jury Chair